Advisor(s) - Committee Chair
William Nolan, Carol Brown, Paul Power
School of Teacher Education
Surveys were sent to the 182 school superintendents in the public schools of Kentucky in order to identify the teachers of exploratory foreign language programs. The survey dealt with three areas: (1) the foreign language program in grades 5-8, (2) the foreign language program in grades 9-12, (3) plans to implement an exploratory program. 153 superintendents (842) returned the surveys and 25 districts (14%) were identified as having a foreign language program in grades 6-8. No foreign language program below grade 6 was identified. Seven new programs were initiated in the 1975-76 school year and five additional school districts plan to implement an exploratory program in the 1976-77 school year.
The names of 79 teachers were riven by the superintendents as foreign language teachers in grades 6-8. More extensive surveys were then sent to these teachers and a total of 51 surveys (65%) were returned. From the surveys, 36 teachers were identified as foreign language exploratory teachers.
:he teachers' surveys had two parts. Part I asked for personal data while Part II dealt with the foreign language program in grades 5-9. From the section labeled "Personal Data" it was learned that 85% of the foreign language teachers in grades 6-8 were female and 61% were between the ages of 21 and 30. 76% had a major or minor and 61% were non-tenure teachers (less than four years of experience).
Results from Part II of the teachers' surveys indicated that a great deal of variety exists in the organizational patterns of exploratories and in the type of foreign language experiences offered. Five languages, Spanish, French, German, Russian, and Hebrew were taught in grades 9-12 while Spanish, French, German, Russian, and Italian were taught in grades 6-8. Criteria for the selection of exploratory students varied a great deal from one district to another. 65% of the programs permitted any interested student to register for a foreign language class. 65% also indicated that enrollment in foreign languages in grades 6-8 was the same or higher than last year. The lack of basic materials, such as textbooks and language labs, was the chief concern of the majority of teachers.
Foreign language exploratories are in their infancy in Kentucky. Little agreement exists on how they should be offered and how they should be taught. However, most of the teachers who taught exploratories praised the programs for giving the students an opportunity to discover his potential for language learning. They stated that exploratories enabled the students to make an intelligent decision about languages in the high school and helped revive sagging high school foreign language enrollments.
Curriculum and Instruction | Education | Educational Assessment, Evaluation, and Research | Language and Literacy Education
Wells, Lila, "Foreign Language Exploratory Programs in Grades 5-8 in Kentucky's Public Schools 1975-1976" (1976). Masters Theses & Specialist Projects. Paper 2963.